Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Right on schedule, a male March Moth - Alsophila aescularia - came to light:

(It has to be a male: the female is wingless)

A quick check on a nearby chrysalis of the Large White butterfly shows that it has survived the attentions of both the parasitic wasp and hungry Great Tit. (Note the 'lassoo' of silk that it used to attach itself to the vertical wall, just about 1/3 of the way down from the top.)

Typha latifolia
has variously been known as Reedmace and Bulrush. Seemingly, Bulrush is gaining in favour again.

If you peel back the outer layers of last year's leaves you might well notice some entry/exit holes. These belong to the Bulrush Wainscot, a moth which lives inside the plant as a larva and pupa:

It almost goes without saying that if you don't have Typha, you won't have Bulrush Wainscot moths, so they are very dependent on marshy/boggy habitat.

As I walked away from the Typha plants, I spotted this Evernia prunastri lichen on a willow:

One of the things I love about the internet is the way things link to each other, leading to unexpected connections. In May 2008, I showed the excellent mining bee Andrena cineraria.

That image was picked up by an artist living in Florida, and the resultant artwork has been shown here:


Isn't that wonderful?


Yoke, said...

Love Rushes like the Bulrush. And well done to the Moth, so right on cue. I'm not sure it wants to stay out and about; much too cold.

Wonder how the puppae managed to escape the acute eye of the Great Tit/Parasite? Perhaps it is at the right height?

brilliant shots again, Stuart.

And well done on the Mining Bee finding you the acclaim you so much deserve as a photographer and conservationist.

I got a picture of a Rubecula frutosa published in a bioligy school textbook in Canada. Again, thanks to the internet.

Still, it is bitter cold, despite the Sunshine, and our beloved creatures aren't out of the Woods yet.

Gill said...

"Isn't that wonderful?" Certainly is - and it's a wonderful painting too.

I love that lichen shot, there's something very satisfying about its shape.

How do you know that chrysallis hasn't been parasitised - would you be able to tell until something came out?

Stuart said...

@Yoke: the pupa is quite high up on the doorframe, so will be difficult to reach for the Great Tit (and probably difficult to see, too)

@Gill: I was referring to the specific parasitic wasp, Apanteles glomeratus, that I showed in this post:


Of course, it might well be parasitised by some other Ichneumonid. I'll monitor the pupa over the next few weeks.

I noticed that the Apanteles glomeratus pupae that I showed in the above post are still in situ, so I'll stick a few in a tube and show them here when they emerge (it will be interesting to see if they have two generations per year, to match the Large Whites).

Gill said...

Ah, thanks - look forward to seeing the emergence(s).